Our Favorite Hourglass Timers

A once-favorite tool is now a nostalgic and still effective instrument on land or at sea

May 5, 2021
A nod to nostalgia or a thoughtful gift, consider an hourglass timer for your nautical friends. Pexels

From the days of Ferdinand Magellan and before, hourglasses have been our unwavering accountant of past, present and future exploits. The famed explorer used as many as 18 during his historic trip around the world, enveloping a number of sandglasses with varying operating times inside of a common frame, providing times for the ship’s log and ultimately charting the map that is still used, with slight variances, today. Here are our favorite hourglass timers.

SuLiao Hourglassr 60 Minute Sand Time, Large Antique Rotating Black Sand Clock, Metal Sand Watch 60 Min, Vintage Reloj De Arena, Brass 1 Hour Glass Sandglass for Gifts, Home, Desk, Office Decor

European-style design

Perfect for an office or study, it is made with thick glass and anchored to a heavy metal base that is matched with bronze texture. SuLiao

This handsome 60-minute antique-style sand timer is so well-crafted it will truly take you back in time. It’s also not just an ornament. It keeps perfect time. The sand timer rotates a full 360°, allowing you to “refresh’’ its look at your whim. A great gift for anyone, and particularly for those interested in the era when hourglasses measured our days.

Hourglass Sand Timer 60 Minutes, Vintage Engraved Sand Clock 60 Minutes, Antique 1 Hour Glass, Brass Sand Watch 60 Min, Large Metal Rotating Sandglass Timer with White Sand for Home Office Decoration

Perfect for any room

Each embossing pattern is hand-carved and unique, so you will never worry about visiting a neighbor or relative and finding the same piece. Hourglass

Another from the many designs of the SuLiao store, this bejeweled entry is a stylish piece that compliments the right bedroom or dining room décor. Each stands on its own, as did those made in the era from which it is based. And like its cousin, its design swivel allows for multiple angle adjustments, and multiple options as to where the perfect place for it will be in your own space.

OrgaNice Hourglass Sand Timer - 30 Minute & 5 Minute Timer Set - Improve Productivity & Achieve Goals - Stay Focused & Be More Efficient - Time Management Tool - Gift-Ready Package

Easy to use and store

Sits on a beechwood stand to stabilize it and insulate it from the occasional hit that comes with a busy desk. OrgaNice

Minimalist in style and functionality, the OrgaNice sand timer sits on any desk or tabletop elegantly, serving as a time manager and at the same time a great conversation piece. You can use it as a subtle hint to co-workers that you are busy. This model actually comes with a guide on how to use it to increase productivity and eliminate distractions.

SWISSELITE Biloba Puff Sand Timer/Hourglass Sand Timer - Inspired Glass/Home, Desk, Office Decor

An artful addition

The standard error rage of this piece is +/- 6 minutes, so functionality is not its main or even intended purpose – art is. SWISSELITE

Made of high borosilicate glass, this hourglass is more a work of art than it is a work tool. It’s clearly handcrafted, texturized, and exquisitely designed. Simply put, it’s a beautiful addition to your space or room, and it is useful enough to measure break times, length of projects, even exposure to sun, should it become a fixture on your porch or covered deck.

Antique Brass Sand Timer 60 Minute Hourglass, 720° Rotating Metal Sand Clock Stand, Large White Sand Watch 60 Min, Unique One Hour Glass Sandglass for Gifts, Wedding, Home, Desk, Office Decorative

Limitless options

The two-layer, 720-degree design avoids even the hint of monotony. Antique Brass

This European retro-designed piece is the perfect oasis during what seems to be an endless workday. With limitless adjustability options, the 720- degree hourglass design is also functional: the 60-minute turn is accurate to +/- 5%, the highest industry standard. Made from premium zinc alloy and matched with the stylish bronzed process, it provides a futuristic look of elegance while reckoning to a time past. Wherever it is placed in the home, office, or family space, it is designed to simultaneously complement its surroundings and claim prominence.


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